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DUBAI: The UAE will conduct the final stage of its clinical trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine, the health ministry announced on Tuesday.

The UAE claims it is the first in the world to reach the final stage – referred to as Phase III – of the clinical trial, state news agency WAM reported.

Clinical trials usually run in three phases – the first one focuses on the vaccine’s safety, and the second evaluates its immunization process in a small number of people.

Phase III, which in this case will be done under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Department of Health, will look into the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in a large population sample.

Inactivated vaccines consist of the killed version of the bacteria or virus, and are usually taken in repeated doses to ensure immunity.

The trial comes under the partnership of Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence company Group 42 and pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm China National Biotec Group (CNBG).

Both companies said they were aiming to develop a safe and effective vaccine that could be in the market by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

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